I am publishing this article that I came across in my documents today. It wasn’t titled; it was just saved under the first line “You are talking to a girl…” It was unfinished; it was dated October 19, 2014. I didn’t think about why it wasn’t finished, I remembered the incident and at the time I thought it was very important, so when I saw it tonight I realized that it wasn’t published then because it was meant for you for now, here it is…
October 19, 2014
You’re talking to a girl here who is running on fumes of strong coffee and snatched naps going on night number three, so ramble? I might! If you don’t know the reason I will tell you that I am watching, I think that is a good way to describe what I am doing. Last night my sister watched with me until four in the morning, I looked at her sitting there in a straight-backed chair and saw her big brown eyes unwillingly close and quickly open again. That was when I insisted she go home, which is just out my back door, and sleep in preparation for getting up and going to church this morning. Me? I haven’t been to a church service since December of last year and this is something you would never have made me believe in my lifetime would be a statement that would have ever come out of my mouth. Being raised in church sitting on the front pew listening to my dad sing and preach while my mother accompanied him on the piano until I was old enough to join in to form a family trio and then join the musical team as the organist it is safe to say I never missed a service in my life, including the Easter Sunday that I had to sing and play the organ with “pink eye” caught from a congregant’s child! (I think I have just written the longest sentence in the history of writing!)
It is very sad and strange to watch a person who once had a very strong will and was so busy wife to a pastor, mother of three, Sunday school teacher, and the leader of women’s fellowships raising money for various charities involving the church membership. Yet my mother is the reason for my being an absent church member! I would have never understood the value of the TV preacher until this happened to me. Our family had a wonderful program that aired several times a week where we sat around a table and discussed different themes from the Bible but I never thought of it as something a person would watch instead of attending a “gathering or fellowship of believers” but that is exactly what I am doing!
On Sunday morning I turn on the television and there I have found a group of singers that sing the kind of Gospel music I love to hear. It’s foot tapping, soul rending, heart breaking, joyful, looking for heaven, wanting to fly away, and praising Jesus music and I enjoy it to the max! My mother will sit and stare at nothing for hour on end but when that familiar music starts she looks at the singers and her mouth moves along with the words. I have even seen her bony little hand raised in praise and tears coming out of those eyes once so blue they could stare a hole right through your soul but now so blank of emotion. The real kicker to me was when the minister offered for the congregation both there in the church or in the television audience to say the sinners prayer with him, I watched as she repeated the words and thought that this ninety-year-old saint of the Lord knew exactly what she was doing as she prayed. She never responds more than when you say, “Let me say a prayer for you,” she immediately bows her head, slicked back hair no longer teased and sprayed into a fancy hair-do.
But I digress; I wanted to tell you about the song I heard the singers performing on that televised church program. At first I just listened to the haunting tune and the beautiful harmony and then I started listening to the words and it really caught me:
“When I lay my Isaac down Broken heart but my Fathers proud
On this altar here he lays
Just to find it wasn’t him he/(God) wanted me
Most of us I’d dare to say
Have an Isaac in God’s way
On the Altar God will prove
It’s not your Isaac that he wants
He wants you!”
(This is where the article begun October 19, 2014 stopped, I saw it tonight and I knew it was time to finish writing it, maybe God is trying to point my “Isaac” out to me!)
We all have an “Isaac” in our life, or one thing that is more precious to us than anything else. With you it may be substance abuse, or an immoral relationship, I won’t finish that list of possible things because you already know what it is. It’s the thing you hope God doesn’t ask you to give up if you say “Lord I will do anything for you” when what you mean is, “I will do anything for you except…”
There was an illustration my dad used sometimes when he talked about giving your whole heart to God. He would say, “What if you went to buy a house and the owner told you that you could buy the whole house except for one room where he wanted to keep snakes and monkeys and some old trash and garbage.” He would ask the congregation, “Would you still buy that house?” Of course the answer to that question would be NO!
So what makes you think God is willing to accept you, baggage, garbage and all, if there is anything in your life you are not willing to surrender to Him and His will?
Every year during the Lenten season my dad always abstained from eating red meat for the entire time and wouldn’t have it again until after Easter Sunday, why did he do that? Was it because it is a sin to eat red meat during Lent, or God wanted him to suffer not being able to have a thick, juicy steak for that period of time? No, he did it because it was the one food he dearly loved and he gave it up just to feel that he was sacrificing a pleasure of the flesh in recognition of the sacrifice Jesus made for him to give him salvation.
Whatever your “Isaac” is why don’t you try offering it to Him just as a way to say “Thank you for all you have done for me”. There is nothing we can do that is equal to His gift but at least it is an acknowledgement, after all it isn’t that “thing” that God desires, it is YOU!